Easter Monday

www.bible.com/72/psa.22.31.hcsb

Though not a day we celebrate, on some calendars you will find today labeled as Easter Monday because it follows Easter. Today’s selection comes from Psalm 22, the first verse of which is quoted by Jesus in the cross. (Just consider that in the midst of his final hours, Jesus is quoting texts of ancient literature. That’s my Jesus!) He most likely makes this reference because Psalm 22:2 accurately reflects exactly how he’s feeling. He feels forsaken by God and afflicted, just as Isaiah 53 predicted.

But Psalm 22 takes a journey of its own. From the first verse to the last, the Psalm goes from lament to praise. The Psalmist laments his condition, in many ways prefiguring Christ’s own suffering. But then he speaks of the presence of the Lord, the worship in His holy Temple, and that at the last, generations will speak of the Lord’s praise and deliverance.

And here we are, the generations to be born are reading this blog today. They are reading about what the Lord has done in raising s dead man to life. Despite all the arguments that it can’t be done, today we serve a risen Savior. Sure I apprehend these things by faith, but faith based on evidence. There is more evidence for Jesus than for Socrates.

Let us tell today about the risen Savior. It may be Monday, but Jesus is still just as risen as He was yesterday. Let us celebrate His resurrection everyday.

God bless!

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Easter Sunday

www.bible.com/72/jhn.11.25-26.hcsb

Happy Easter! From Romans 5:

8  But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

9  Much more then, because we have now been declared righteous by his blood, we will be saved through him from God’s wrath.

10  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, since we have been reconciled, will we be saved by his life?

Do you believe this?

Jesus’ question to Martha in John 11 was not an idle one. For her faith in this fact, faith in Jesus as the Resurrection and the Life is crucial to her own eternity, as well as her brother’s. It is crucial to yours. You see as Romans says above, this deaths and resurrection is essential to our own eternity. If God had not shown His love for us through the death of His own Son, Jesus Christ, we could not share in His Resurrection. Only through Christ can you be born again.

Do you believe this?

Nearly 2000 years ago, the Son of God was hung upon a cross. He died there in the most cruel means of that time. He suffered more anyone, because He also bore the sins of the world, and experienced God’s wrath for all sin for all time, One who knew no sin. Through His death, we may live. Through His resurrection three days later, we too understand that death cannot hold us either.

Do you believe this?

If you do, and if you’ve repented of your sins, confessed the name of Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and received baptism in His name, then you also will share in His Life. You will receive the promise of the Holy Spirit, the gift of forgiveness of your sins, and Eternal Life.

God bless you today as you continue in your journey.

Black Saturday

www.bible.com/72/rom.10.13.hcsb

Every year I fall into this temptation, as I relive the original Easter experience. With Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, I imagine in my mind that I am going through the events of that passion week with Jesus and the disciples. When Jesus died on the cross, I wait along with them for Sunday morning. I know Jesus will rise again! But wait. All of this happened already. Jesus does not repeatedly die and rise again every year. He does not spend Black Saturday in the grave. He has already shown us the grave cannot hold Him. Jesus Christ is alive today and everyday, just as He has been since AD 30. While many are mourning and waiting for Jesus to come back, I’m over here celebrating Jesus’ resurrection, because He is alive. I serve a risen Savior. He’s in the world today.

Now I know it does something for us to celebrate His resurrection every year on Easter. But we celebrate His resurrection every week. We enjoy the benefits of His resurrection every moment. Don’t put all of that aside today, of all days. Many may mourn Jesus burial, but He is not in the grave. He is not there. He is risen. Black Saturday doesn’t have to be a day of mourning.

Before I go, let me say there is some merit to remembering. What must it have been like for those disciples? How would we have responded? That helps us put ourselves into the text and empathize with those early disciples. That is a good thing. But you don’t have to wait with them until Sunday morning. We can move ahead in the story, because we know its outcome.

God bless you today. Happy Easter! Enjoy the holiday, but go to church. 😁

Good Friday

www.bible.com/72/jhn.19.30.hcsb

Today will probably be like any other Friday. I will go to work, do my job, and come home. Tonight we do have church, so that will remind me of what today is about.

What is today about? It is the day we annually remember the crucifixion of Jesus. After He spent His last supper with the disciples, He went out to a garden to pray, to prepare for the next day’s trials. Overnight, He was arrested in the garden, betrayed by one of His own. He was hauled before the high priest, the Procurator, the King, and the former high priest. The charge of treason was applied to Him, but it was the crowd who called for His crucifixion. Crucifixion was borrowed from the Persians and perfected by the Romans, who reserved this vile form of execution for the most vile criminals, including those who incited sedition and treason against the Emperor.

Jesus, the Son of God, hung on the cross for an unusually short time, surprising even the professionals at its base. In only three hours, He was dead. It usually required days. Jesus was so badly beaten when he began, added to the burden of the rejection of men and the sin of the world on His shoulders, the unbearable suffering of the full weight of God’s wrath, we ought to be in awe. No greater sacrifice has ever been made, human or otherwise. Period.

“I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene. I wonder how He could love me, a sinner, condemned, unclean.”

“How marvelous, how wonderful, and my song shall ever be, how marvelous, how wonderful, is my Savior’s love for me.”

Maundy Thursday

www.bible.com/72/luk.22.19.hcsb

As we pass the half-way mark of Holy Week, we come upon this quiet, unassuming day of Maundy Thursday. The day marks the observation of Passover by Jesus and His disciples before He was arrested early Friday morning. It was a night that Jesus gave them what some call the Eucharist, or the Lord’s Supper. He transformed an age-old tradition called Passover into testimony of His New Covenant through His body and blood.

It is usually observed with a sense of humility and awe, as we appreciate the gravity of the meal and its significance. We try to undertake the sense of commitment and love Jesus has not only for His disciples then, but for all people of all time who would benefit from His sacrifice. The Lord’s Supper is a celebration of Jesus’s love for us. It is also a reminder that He had to die for us, because we are sinners, and have no hope without Him.

Above all, remember today. Meditate on Jesus’ work for your salvation. Remember that He did all of this because He loves you.

God bless.

Obedient to Death

www.bible.com/72/php.2.8.hcsb

Nothing shows us the dedication to the mission like a willingness to die for what you believe in. Really, nothing else, not giving of bast fortunes or sending many others to fight. Nothing shows your dedication to an ideal by offering your own life as forfeit. It says that your belief is more important than life itself. We call such people martyrs.

So what did Jesus die for? He died for sin, the perfect sacrificial lamb for the sins of the world. He died for men, dying in their place to remove the pall of judgment upon their souls. He died for Himself, so that He could restore the relationship between Himself and men through portal of His sacrifice. He died so that He could demonstrate His own love for men by being raised from the dead and showing God’s power over death. As you can see there were many things going on that day.

But I think the most important reason is that He died for me. He died for my family. He died for my friends, so that we could all live together with Him.

Thank you Jesus for being obedient unto death, so that you could show me how to live.

God bless.

Jesus Triumphant

www.bible.com/72/luk.19.38.hcsb

Was it a victory lap? When Jesus rounded the last turn and gazed upon the city from the hilltop, did He think He was coming in victory? The people certainly did. They proclaimed “Hosanna” and “Blessed be the One who comes in the Name of the Lord!” Jesus arrived as a King would atop a donkey. He did not arrive on a charger or war horse, but on a donkey, in peace.

We call it the Triumphal Entry, the Sunday before Easter just as it was in that week before the Resurrection nearly 2000 years ago. We celebrate it as Palm Sunday, for they waved palm branches before the donkey’s path into the city. But was it truly triumph that waited for Jesus? The synoptic gospels show Jesus making his way to the Temple and clearing out the money-changers, in effect, declaring judgment on those who would convert the house of prayer into a den of thieves, a place of merchandise instead of worship. No one dared oppose Him because they saw Him as a prophet, and prophets often did powerfully symbolic things. And then Jesus left the Temple and went back to Bethany. Did He walk back?

Jesus’ triumph seemed to be fleeting, for in a few short days, He would be hanging from a cross outside the city. They would be calling for this prophet’s crucifixion at the top of their lungs. He would be scourged at the end of a Roman whip. He would be dead before the week was over.

It is not triumph as the world sees. That’s what happens today. The world sees a King who did not take his throne. They could not see the King who longed for the throne in each man’s heart. They looked for s politician, not a Savior. Jesus knew that true change would not come through laws and rulers, but by His own blood. Let us celebrate the triumph of a Savior, not over enemies, but over death itself. That is Jesus triumphant.